108 years and going strong!

Jan 26th, 2018 | By | Category: Featured

Presenting current issues and celebrating Canadian History and Culture

By The Ottawa Women’s Canadian Club

In this era of quick fixes and disposable everything, isn’t it reassuring to know that some things can stand the test of time?  The Ottawa Women’s Canadian Club (OWCC) is proud of its history and contribution to Ottawa and Canada since its inception in 1910.

Club members don’t knit socks, fund ambulances and write op-eds suggesting their efforts be rewarded with the vote for women, as they did to support the First World War.  They don’t fundraise to provide comforts for an entire ship’s company or to provide parcels for our troops overseas as they did during the Second World War.  In 2018, the Ottawa Women’s Canadian Club provides an opportunity for women to come together once a month to be educated and entertained, to donate to local charities through speaker’s honorariums and collections on special occasions, and to provide scholarships through investments at three regional universities.  The modern-day Club appeals to women of all ages and stages of life. Clearly, they have found the recipe for success.

The Club has been meeting in the same location, the Ballroom of the Chateau Laurier, since the hotel opened its doors in 1912. From September to May, approximately 275 women have lunch and listen to speakers on topical subjects.  In the past, speakers ranged from princesses to prime ministers.  In more recent years, guests have included ambassadors, senators, authors, Olympic athletes, physicians, scientists, television personalities, philanthropists, etc. The Board of Directors strives to select speakers who will promote life-long learning for members. The Spring 2018 program features topics ranging from finance, satellite imaging, fashion and travel.

This is how the Club has managed to survive for over 100 years!  As times change, the Club adapts to the needs of its members.

“We listen to our members and try to provide a program of speakers who are relevant and address contemporary issues. Just because some members are elderly, doesn’t mean they have finished learning,” states Ann Blair the Program Chair.   The Club’s President, Loreen O’Blenis says that “like the women who came before us, we want to stay engaged with our community, our country and the world.”

The second secret to their success is to keep membership costs low (only $60 a year).  All Board Members are volunteers.  They are always looking for ways to minimize costs and to attract more sponsors to the Club.

Another secret to the ongoing success of the Ottawa Women’s Canadian Club is the chance to tour around our region.  Twice a year,  Sandra Weedmark, the Club’s tour director, organizes a bus tour to sites of interest within a couple hours drive from Ottawa.  There is never an empty seat on the bus.  The trips are impeccably planned and executed.  This, combined with a few good laughs, keeps the women of the Club coming back for more.

In the past, the Club had the foresight to invest money to be used for a scholarship program.  For decades, the Club has been awarding scholarships to students from the University of Ottawa, Carleton University and Queen’s University.

“We are strong proponents of higher learning and continuous learning. We want to help others succeed in life and we believe education plays a vital role in an individual’s achievements and happiness in life,” says Madeline Bissell, Student & Scholarship Chair.

In addition, two lucky young women from local high schools are invited to attend the luncheons each month. They get to
enjoy lunch and to learn from the day’s speaker while the Club members learn from these young ladies through the sharing of their biographies.

“Sometimes it seems to me that these young ladies have done more in 16 years than I have done in 50!  It is important for us to hear what motivates them, what challenges they face and what their goals are for the future.  It is our way of staying connected and informed in 2018,” says Shauna Deamond, Membership Chair.

“What I enjoy most about the Club is that there are no hidden fees, and no one is trying to sell me anything.  I meet intelligent, talented women.  I learn something new from our speakers and I enjoy a delicious meal at the Chateau Laurier,” says
Shauna Deamond.

If you are interested in joining the Ottawa Women’s Canadian Club, or you simply wish to attend a luncheon on a trial basis, go to: www.owcc.ca or call Judy Paré at 613-523-0098.

Spring lucheon program:

• Thurs, Feb. 8: Your Financial Advisor –
What You Should Understand and Expect

• Thurs, March 15: Satellite Images: A Window on our World

• Thurs., April 12: Fashion Fiesta (with High Tea)
Judy Joannou Designs, Spring 2018 Collection

• Thurs, May 10: The Opinicon Resort –
A Recipe for Social Enterprise

2 Comments to “108 years and going strong!”

  1. Mark Rusiecki says:

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